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« The Call | Main | How Can the Sword of the Lord Be Quiet? »

Living Through the Crisis

“So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19.

This verse speaks of great things. It mentions the name of the Lord, the glory of God and the Spirit of the Lord lifting up a standard. But regardless of these powerful subjects, the only thing we see sometimes is captured in this phrase—- “When the enemy shall come in like a flood…” Like the California wildfires…


My name is Natalia…. I’m just a regular old 13 teen year old girl. A friend of mine named Rory told me about this website…and I thought I NEED to say what I feel. Mostly to let it all out:) I watched Rory’s video several times and it made me cry so much…. People losing their homes…scratch that…. THOUSANDS of people losing their homes is NOT a good thing. And I know you’re thinking well yeah…obviously. Well, I just wanted to make it clear. I am HEARTBROKEN by this trauma and whenever someone brings it up, all i say is “Pray for them, like they would pray for you”. I made that quote myself actually. People may have just bought these homes, finished gardening, painting, have had the home for a long time, grew up in the home, love coming to that home, i mean everyone has there ways of loving there home. But I think that the one that would hurt me the most would be to think of all the fun memories…or even the bad memories that happened in my home. all the sleepovers, and the pets that ran around, and our experience traveling to that home, and everything about the home, especially if you could see leftover parts of the home just laying there…for instance pieces of a fridge….or the front door…or even the chimney. It breaks my heart that SO many people are in SO much pain right now. and not only pain, but living on the streets….homeless:( thank you for letting me express….my side of my story:) -Natalia.

Are you having a crisis today? Will it end up destroying you? Are you going to make it? Right now, you are not sure what tomorrow will bring to you.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — With his webcam trained on him, a Florida teenager died in his bed of a drug overdose while others watched over the Internet, officials said Friday.

Some of those watching urged him to take more drugs while others debated whether he had taken enough to kill himself. Hours passed before someone finally notified authorities that he appeared lifeless, officials said.

Abraham Biggs, 19, was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon in Pembroke Pines, Florida, said Wendy Crane, investigator for the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The cause of death was found to be an overdose of benzodiazepine, an antidepressant, as well as other opiate drugs used to treat depression, Crane said.

The youth’s body was found in his apartment behind a locked door, which police broke down. Police turned off the webcam and computer, Crane said.

You may not relate to the specifics of Abraham’s case, but you might understand his feelings. Here is a snapshot of a person in full-blown crisis…in this case, a young person whose world had evidently become unbearable. It doesn’t really matter what the reason, though, the feelings come out the same…anger, rejection, sorrow, fear, hatred, panic, numbness.

Meaning of Crisis: The very word crisis comes to us from the ancient Latin language. It was used by the famous physician, Hippocrates, and had a specific medical meaning: the turning point in a disease. At a certain point, a sick person either loses all hope or they start getting better.

A crisis is…when everything you have and are is threatened.

  • …when you are sure God hates you.
  • …when you don’t know who you are anymore.
  • …when you are about to lose your most meaningful relationships in life.
  • …when you think you have little or nothing to live for anymore.
  • …when you seriously cannot see how you are going to survive.
  • …when you think you’d be better off dead than alive.
  • …when everything you thought you believed seems like a total waste.

The Bible is a book filled with people in crisis situations.

  • There is the story of Joseph sold by his brothers into Egypt
  • Moses at the Red Sea
  • Daniel in the lion’s den
  • Three Hebrews in the fiery furnace
  • Simon Peter in prison
  • The Apostle Paul thrown in the ocean at night
  • John on the Isle of Patmos

America is in crisis today. The problem is that we have called everything a crisis to the point where we don’t really know what a crisis is anymore. Just Google it and you will find out that we have an Obesity Crisis. An Immigration Crisis. A Jobs Crisis. A Manufacturing Crisis. Legitimacy Crisis. Confidence Crisis. Environmental Crisis. Oceans Crisis. Health Care Crisis. Infrastructure Crisis. Child Care Crisis. Energy Crisis. Moral Crisis. Banking Crisis. Spiritual Crisis. Housing Crisis. Mortgage Crisis.

Erwin Lutzer, Pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago says, “America is reaping the dire consequences of rejecting God. Our society is morally bankrupt, and the problems seem resistant to government cures. William J. Bennet, in his Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, provides the following statistics for the past 30 years. Despite increased funding and stricter laws, violent crime has increased more than 500 percent. While sex education programs have proliferated, illegitimate births have increased over 400 percent, significantly among teenagers. The divorce rate has quadrupled, and single parent homes have become the majority. Our young people today exhibit a hopelessness, with a more than 200 percent increase in the teenage suicide rate. And America appears helpless before its great problems.

The ongoing credit crisis raised fresh worries about an old problem – a 1930s kind of problem.

A depression: Could a third of Americans be right?

By Mark Trumbull | 10.01.08, Christian Science Monitor

Yes, the D-word.

Most forecasters say an economic depression remains a highly unlikely scenario.
But many also say that the risk is real – because of the possible collapse of credit markets.

At the very least, it seems as if fear and the search for historical reference points are causing a refresher course in lessons from nearly 80 years ago.

Consider this: The words “depression” and “economy” coincided in 1,235 articles in major US newspapers last month, according to the Nexis database service. That compares with 228 times in September 2007. In a new USA Today/Gallup poll, one-third of Americans defined the current state of the economy as a depression, not a recession.

The economic news certainly isn’t buoying anyone’s spirits. Major automakers reported Wednesday double-digit declines in car sales for last month. The same day, the Institute for Supply Management reported a large drop in new orders for September, suggesting a continuing slowdown in manufacturing.

None of us can do much about the financial crisis, or any other global crisis.

But you can do something about the personal crisis you are having today.

The question that you should be asking yourself “Pastor, how did I get here?”

But some are saying, “It doesn’t matter how I got here. Just get me out!”

But until you know what happened, you are going to cycle yourself right back into the same crisis…or worse!

Christian author Gary Sweeten points out four reasons for Christians in crisis: Bondage, rebellion, guilt, and shame. If we focus on only one of these problems, we miss the wide spectrum of reasons for people’s crises.

“Bondage implies that we are blind to our sinfulness and impotent to change those things of which we are aware.… we cannot, by our own works, do anything to redeem ourselves from our sinful condition.” People facing problems of homosexuality, alcoholism, or sexual addiction certainly know what I am talking about.

Rebellion involves our decisions to go against the will of God. The quip, “Sin is revolting,” proves literally true. Many of the crises people face are the result of someone’s rebellion against God.

Guilt is not just a feeling; it is the result of violating God’s law. Whether we feel guilty or not is more a matter of how we were raised. But when God’s standards are broken, we stand condemned and guilty before God. Only confession and repentance remove the legal guilt we’ve accrued.

Shame is what we feel when we understand our shortcomings, and shame can ruin a life and cripple recovery. Shame says, I am an awful person. It’s what happens when you mix a sound conscience with a violation of God’s standards. Confession breaks the hold of guilt, it may not ease shame. People need the understanding of their new position in Christ as God’s child to rid themselves of the shame occasioned by the Fall.

If you want to, you can deny one or all of these.

  • You can say it’s not your fault.
  • You can blame it on your father or mother.
  • You can blame it on your teacher.
  • You can point the finger of blame at your husband, wife, children or anybody else but yourself.
  • If you do, you will only deepen your crisis. No one gets through by denying any of these four realities.

You can deny that you are in bondage to addictions and sinful patterns of behavior if you want, but you deceive yourself if you do. I often preach about the whole list of sins and transgressions—-from lying to lust, from anger to adultery, from gambling to gluttony—-not because I’m mad at people who do these things, but because you need to identify your spiritual slaveholders! Whatever sins you commit, you are in bondage to those sins!

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

2 Peter 2:19 for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”

Rebellion can be found somewhere in most spiritual crises. God has a will for your life. At some point in your life, you left God’s will and now you are out on your own. Do you think it’s God will for you to crack up? To be a drug addict, an alcoholic, a prostitute, an atheist or a common criminal? If the road you’re on is not the one God chose, you are in rebellion against him.

Psalms 107:10-13

10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.

Guilt is why sin never satisfies. It is this deep understanding and sense that you live in violation against God’s law. The more you try, the less personal happiness you enjoy. Many people try to stop guilt by convincing themselves that they’re not doing anything wrong. It is a false peace, however, because it is built on a lie.

Shame descends upon the person who is conscious of his or her sins, but cannot release them into the blood of Jesus. They beat themselves up constantly over their stupidity, and never believe that they can be worthy of grace or redemption. Shame dictates that a person has to bear their own punishment for sin.

If you are in the middle of a crisis today, chances are that you are looking for help from people and places that aren’t going to give it to you. You are handling your crisis in ways that only exacerbate the problem and make it worse. Yet, you overlook or even deny the way out of your crisis that God has illuminated right in front of you. Today, right now, you can and must make a decision that will give you a true hope for survival.

False hopes.

  • Don’t expect someone else to bail you out. Nobody but Jesus is your savior.
  • No windfall, no special twist of fate, no unusual circumstance will turn things around.
  • God does miracles, but not miracles that keep sin and wrongdoing alive.
  • Your problems will not just decide to get up and walk out of your life.

False remedies.

  • You will not get over your crisis by anger, threatening, screaming, temper tantrums.
  • You will not get over your crisis by money, talent, self-will, intelligence or charm.
  • You will not get over your crisis by procrastination, mind games, word games, lies.
  • You will not get over your crisis by doing the same things you have always done.

Surviving your crisis.

  • You will get through your crisis when you decide that God loves you and your life is worth living.
  • You will get through your crisis when you admit that God has been right all along.
  • You will get through your crisis when you stop fighting against God and make peace.
  • You will get through your crisis when you confess, repent and forsake your sin.
  • You will get through your crisis when you let Jesus show up in your life.
  • You will get through your crisis when you accept that you will always live next door to failure.

The critical facts about your life’s story can turn around today. It will not depend upon some external event or outside worldly force. It will happen in the very private confines of your own heart and mind. It will come as you intertwine your fingers in the hand of Jesus and face your crisis together with him.

You can turn around by making four commitments today…to yourself and God:

  1. I will not live in bondage.
  2. I will no longer rebel against God.
  3. I will deal with my guilt by the blood of Jesus.
  4. I will transfer my shame to the cross.





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